Manchester Town Hall
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Students, city living and regeneration: Why Manchester is the UK’s property hotspot

After benefitting from a recent £1bn investment as part of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative, Manchester is showing itself to be a vibrant, forward-thinking metropolis with the most attractive city centre investment market in Britain.

House prices is Manchester grew by over 10% in 2017, with the average two-bedroom flat now costing £250,000. Residential price growth in the city is expected to be around 4.2% over the next five years, compared with just 2.4% across the UK - and rents are expected to increase by around 3.5% per year between now and 2020. So, what are the reasons behind this growing and expanding investment market?

New Business and Investment

Outside of London, more new business is coming to the city than anywhere else in the UK. Manchester has also seen the highest rate of job creation in the country, with the number of new jobs growing by 84% between 1999 and 2015. As the investment in creating the Northern Powerhouse continues, Manchester is arguably the greatest beneficiary so far, with two new research institutes, a new arts centre and improved transport infrastructure coming from the scheme.

City Living

The recent success of Manchester is largely down to the revival in demand for city-center living. This trend was at its height before the 2008 recession, but it collapsed along with house prices due to oversupply.

In 2000 there were just 10,000 people living in the heart of the city - now there are nearly 70,000. Many of these residents are students or young professionals with a desire to live in town, close to where they work and socialise. This demand has generated increased investment in city center urban regeneration.


The student dominance in Manchester continues to grow yearly, with an increasing number of young people flocking to the city for their studies every year. Attracted by the lively nightlife and bubbling culture, Manchester is a great place for students to live and study.

After they graduate 50% of students choose to stay in Manchester, and 6 in 10 Manchester-born students who go to university elsewhere return to their hometown after they graduate. Students love living in Manchester, and there are a number of employment opportunities and affordable housing encouraging them to stay.

The young age demographic is a driving force in the number of rental properties in Manchester – which actually constitute 60% of the city centre’s housing stock. A fast-emerging trend in the city is the build-to-rent market, which accounts for a large proportion of the 30 new residential developments being built currently.

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